Debunk: Saudi National Linked

Drew

Active Member
Despite being a lurker for a while, I'm still new to posting here, so I'm not sure what the SOP is for posting new topics. But I thought I'd submit this.

Is there anything we can do with this? I don't know anything about this woman or her show, but this seems pretty awful. She's very eager to make some sloppy arguments to shoehorn some questionable facts into her agenda. The "Saudi national" who was injured at the marathon, questioned by the police, consented to an apartment search, cooperated fully, and has been cleared of suspicion is, according to her, linked to Al Qaeda.

[EX=http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/roth/130417]
Al Qaeda linked to Saudi at Boston Marathon



By Laurie Roth

On my national radio show on Tuesday April 16th, former Muslim Brotherhood member, now author, speaker, and expert on Islam and the Middle East, Whalid Shoebat, called in revealing info he discovered in Arabic, his native language.

We all recall Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi detained as a "person of interest" at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosion. He was injured and hospitalized then questioned but not arrested. Today as the news cycle unfolded, he was described as "innocent" and most cooperative with authorities.

Whalid Shoebat found in Arabic a list of known Islamic terrorists, either wanted or currently being held on crimes of terrorism with the name Al-Harbi. They were all numbered and listed. He lists them all and reveals his sourcesin his article posted on www.shoebat.com.

#15 BadrSaud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#73 Muhammad Atiqu Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi
#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi
#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)
#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi

Al-Harbi clan members in Gitmo:

Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai'di Al-Harbi
Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi
Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi
Ghanem Abdul Rahman hanem Al-Harbi
Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi

Whalid also found a photo in Arabic sources of Rahman Ali Alharbi in traditional Islamic dress on Facebook. Soon after he grabbed the photo, it was scrubbed. Arthur Hu of Asia Week contacted Whalid and noticed the resemblance of the traditional photo Whalid found and the photo he possessed, taken by an Asian American at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It showed Rahman Ali Alharbi with two other Saudi men as Whalid described them. They all looked suspicious.

Whalid and I discussed just how absurd and unbelievable it was that Rahman Ali Alharbi was already described as innocent, yet he is linked with Al Qaeda and at least 11 Islamic Terrorist relatives listed above. We also wondered why his traditional photo on Facebook had been scrubbed and American media was so quick to minimize him as any danger.

Even early in the investigation of this nightmare at the Boston Marathon, it looks highly suspicious that this was an Islamic terrorist attack, most likely linked to the three Saudi men caught in the photo captured by Arthur Hu of Asia Week. Having been a former terrorist and Muslim Brotherhood member himself, Whalid commented in our interview on the Middle Eastern signature of the attack with double explosions and use of a medical vehicle, which apparently is commonly seen in Islamic attacks.

The bottom line for Obama is right before the 2014 election this is not helpful ammo to take back the House and perhaps even keep the Senate. After all he ran on taking out Al Kae Da and not having a terrorist attack on American soil. He took out Bin Laden, therefore, the Al Kae Da threat was over. Obama was John Wayne and George Bush wasn't. This is a bold assault that will reveal, as the days unfold, that it was a major Islamic attack on American soil. It destroyed, at least for a time, an ICON to America, The Boston Marathon.

Maybe Obama will give us the same investigation and justice he gave Benghazi, a big lot of NOTHING. Join me each day from 7-10 pm PAC on my national radio show at: www.therothshow.com.

© Laurie Roth


[/EX]

So the sum total of the evidence for her claim:

1. Al-Harbi shares a surname with a number of suspected terrorists and Guantanamo detainees. I'm not well-versed in Saudi Arabian naming conventions, but as I recall, many people can share "clan" names with varying degrees of actual relation. Al-Harbi seems common. Although I couldn't find published lists of the most common Saudi surnames, "Al-Harbi" and "Alharbi" show up multiple times in Wikipedia (footballers and politicians), IMDB, and the New York White Pages. It is doubtful that they are all close relatives.

2. He was photographed wearing "traditional Islamic dress," and I'm not even sure what that's even supposed to mean. The photo was on facebook and it disappeared.

3. He was photographed at the marathon with other Saudi men, and "They all looked suspicious."

Having thus "proven" the Al Qaeda link, Roth goes on to allude to a cover-up on the part of the authorities and the media, and then into some by-the-numbers Obama bashing.

I'm not sure this is really even meets the criteria for a CT worthy of debunking. I'm not sure what there really even is to refute here, other than a slew of grossly xenophobic and racist insinuations. But it's ugly, it seems like a pretty awful argument, and the Freepers are eating it up. And there's enough of a conspiracist odor to it to bring it to our attention.
 
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Drew

Active Member
A post from today on The New Yorker's blog gives a good overview of the media lifecycle of the Saudi national lead.

Excerpt:

[EX=http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/04/the-saudi-marathon-man.html]

What happened next didn’t take long. “Investigators have a suspect—a Saudi Arabian national—in the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, The Post has learned.” That’s the New York Post, which went on to cite Fox News. The “Saudi suspect”—still faceless—suddenly gave anxieties a form. He was said to be in custody; or maybe his hospital bed was being guarded. The Boston police, who weren’t saying much of anything, disputed the report—sort of. “Honestly, I don’t know where they’re getting their information from, but it didn’t come from us,” a police spokesman told TPM. But were they talking to someone? Maybe. “Person of interest” became a phrase of both avoidance and insinuation. On theAtlas Shrugs Web site, there was a note that his name in Arabic meant “sword.” At an evening press conference, Ed Davis, the police commissioner, said that no suspect was in custody. But that was about when the dogs were in the apartment building in Revere—an inquiry that was seized on by some as, if not an indictment, at least a vindication of their suspicions.
“There must be enough evidence to keep him there,” Andrew Napolitano said on “Fox and Friends”—“there” being the hospital. “They must be learning information which is of a suspicious nature,” Steve Doocy interjected. “If he was clearly innocent, would they have been able to search his house?” Napolitano thought that a judge would take any reason at a moment like this, but there had to be “something”—maybe he appeared “deceitful.” As Mediaite pointed out, Megyn Kelly put a slight break on it (as she has been known to do) by asking if there might have been some “racial profiling,” but then, after a round of speculation about his visa (Napolitano: “Was he a real student, or was that a front?”), she asked, “What’s the story on his ability to lawyer up?
[/EX]

Again, it's not clear at what threshold pseudojournalistic speculation and biased reporting of misinterpreted facts cross the line into conspiracy theory. Laure Roth definitely seems to go a lot further down the conspiracy road in what she alleges. But there is definitely debunkable bunk happening here.

Even though al-Harbi has apparently been cleared of suspicion, I'm guessing his name won't go away soon among those in the CT community, especially if the bombings remain unsolved for a while.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
Alex Jones' website infowars.com now stating that Al-Harbi is to be deported. Accuses Obama of unscheduled meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister yesterday to arrange same. Also, states that BPD and FBI briefings were cancelled yesterday due to this.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
From Drudge:


Key points:


On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Wednesday night, terror expert Steve Emerson cited sources saying Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national who was briefly named a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombings, is being deported on Tuesday.
Thursday morning, Glenn Beck revealed on radio that TheBlaze was informed by sources that the Saudi national’s visa had been revoked and he was, in fact, going to be deported on “security-related grounds.”
Among other things, sources told TheBlaze that the Saudi national had ties to a well-connected Saudi family and that his deportation was set to be framed as a “voluntary” departure to be with his family.
While discussing the issue on radio, TheBlaze’s Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood revealed that the government is now considering not deported Ali Alharbi.
 

jvnk08

Senior Member.
Does Drudge have any sources to back those assertions up? I can't imagine him being deported, but him choosing to leave is quite plausible to me.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
Does Drudge have any sources to back those assertions up? I can't imagine him being deported, but him choosing to leave is quite plausible to me.

I'm not buying but go to Drudge and check it out yourself. Seems half BS and half possible.
 
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